Chile too hot for Brazil, Aguero hurt in Argentina's defeat

Above: The injury suffered by Sergio Aguero, who scored five goals for Manchester City against Newcastle last Saturday, means that the striker will not play in Argentina's match against Paraguay on Tuesday. Left: Chile's Eduardo Vargas (front), who s
Above: Chile's Eduardo Vargas (front), who shone during the Copa America earlier this year, once again sparkles for his country with a goal against Brazil.PHOTO: REUTERS
Above: The injury suffered by Sergio Aguero, who scored five goals for Manchester City against Newcastle last Saturday, means that the striker will not play in Argentina's match against Paraguay on Tuesday. Left: Chile's Eduardo Vargas (front), who s
Above: The injury suffered by Sergio Aguero, who scored five goals for Manchester City against Newcastle last Saturday, means that the striker will not play in Argentina's match against Paraguay on Tuesday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SANTIAGO • For the first time in World Cup qualifying history, Brazil and Argentina lost on the same day as Chile proved they are now the best team in South America.

Jorge Sampaoli's men backed up their recent Copa America victory with their first win over Brazil in 15 years on Thursday.

Goals from Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sanchez heaped further misery on the five-time world champions with a 2-0 defeat.

Vargas, top scorer in Chile's triumphant Copa campaign, picked up where he left off in that tournament with a wonderful volleyed finish on 72 minutes to fire the hosts into the lead at Santiago's Estadio Nacional.

Arsenal star Sanchez jabbed home from close range in the 90th minute after a wonderful, flowing move had torn the opposing defence apart.

Brazil's loss in the opening round of South America's qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup was the latest in a series of disappointing results for the fading superpowers. They had been desperate to move on from a disappointing Copa campaign which followed their humiliating 1-7 drubbing against Germany in last year's World Cup semi-finals.

But Dunga's side - without their suspended talisman Neymar - simply could not match the relentless running and physicality of the Chilean team.

"I'm very happy because I have never beaten Brazil, and to beat a team that has caused us so many problems in the past, means a lot," Sampaoli said.

Over in Buenos Aires, two goals in two minutes gave Ecuador a surprise 2-0 triumph over Argentina who are 30 places above them in the Fifa rankings.

Frickson Erazo got Ecuador's first goal after 80 minutes and Felipe Caicedo doubled their lead when he finished off a quick counter-attack just a minute later.

"We were never superior to them," Argentine midfielder Javier Mascherano said after the match.

"We could never find answers to the problems that Ecuador gave us, we were never comfortable."

To compound Argentina's misery, Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero was stretchered off the field midway through the first half with what looked like a serious hamstring injury.

The 27-year-old was reportedly in tears in the dressing room and is set to miss Argentina's next match away to Paraguay on Tuesday.

He is also a doubt for City's next Premier League game at home to Bournemouth on Oct 17.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2015, with the headline 'Chile too hot for Brazil, Aguero hurt in Argentina's defeat'. Print Edition | Subscribe